From Pastor’s Desk: 8-21-16
Micah 7:18-19 Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
I really like the concept of “hurl our iniquities into the depths of the sea” don’t you? The idea of the “sea” is that its expanse is so unfathomable that one cannot grasp how far removed our sins are when God hurls them into it. That meshes nicely with the words of King David: “He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).
Who but an eternal, self-existing God can do this? He alone holds in His hands the authority to pardon and forgive sin.
It naturally follows that we pardon and forgive others who have sinned against us. It is of such significance that the Bible tells “…if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:15).
It should be fully understood that forgiving and pardoning is not optional. Hebrews 10:26 says, “…if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received a full knowledge of the truth, there is no other sacrifice that will cover these sins.” What does this verse have to do with forgiving and pardoning? In light of Matthew 6:15 (above) refusal to forgive is of such significance that God will not forgive the person who does not forgive. What does God not forgive? What separates mankind from God? Sin!
1 John 3:14 declares, “If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to eternal life. But a person who has no love is still dead.”
An unforgiving person uses so many clichés to justify their unforgiving attitude. One of which is “I forgive, but I can’t forget.” How about, “I forgive, but I just don’t (or won’t) to be around ___.” Or, maybe the best one, “I forgive, it’s up to them now.”
When all is said and done, the person who has been wronged in any given situation is the only person who knows for sure if there has been forgiveness to the degree that God can forgive him/her their sins.